In my client work with leaders in organisations, 3 key words come up repeatedly. Leaders who feel they are providing effective leadership tend to have some version of these 3 words at the core of their approach. The 3 key words are CONTEXT, CAPABILITY and MOTIVATION.
A key role for leaders is being mindful of the bigger picture and purpose for their organisation and looking at how that links to people’s everyday roles in the organisation. In effect, leaders can hep to keep the bigger context alive for the individuals working in the organisation. This helps individuals to see that their own roles have meaning which in turn helps to fuel individual motivation.
Leaders often talk about their desire to grow the capability or realise the potential of the people in their organisations. This begs the question – how do you do that? A key part of the answer for leaders is asking good questions and focused listening. A good question is a question that provokes fresh thinking and possibly new insights and capabilities. In practice growing people’s capability means enabling people to access increasing levels of competence and knowledge so that higher levels of performance can be delivered in their day-to-day roles.
Leaders often say that a key part of their role is motivating their people. When they are asked what motivates them, they usually refer to a few important inner drives. As they reflect on this, they come to the realisation that these core motivations come from within themselves rather than being created by others. Then they come to a subtle but important shift in their views on motivation – rather than motivating people, they become more inclined to focus on creating an environment in which people continue to feel motivated.